Darwin selected as Peoria’s new city manager

By Philip Haldiman | YourValley

Environmental lawyer and former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency COO Henry Darwin is the new Peoria city manager.

“I think we are very blessed to have Mr. Darwin in this position and I think knowing that we are going to be dealing with both water and economic development that we are very uniquely placed to be able to have Mr. Darwin,” said Peoria Mayor Jason Beck.

Darwin will start as the new city manager Jan. 30. Peoria CFO Kevin Burke will be the acting city manager until that time.

Dawin’s annual base salary will be $275,000, according to his employment agreement.

The council was divided on the vote, 4-3, with Councilmembers Brad Shafer, Michael Finn and Bill Patena dissenting.

They contended lack of transparency, data and choice for their dissension, rather than the qualifications of the candidate.

Finn said he doesn’t see the rush to get the position filled and said he believed Burke would be good in the meantime. He also said he didn’t feel comfortable not having multiple data points to look at.

He was also concerned Darwin’s employment agreement was on the agenda before the council had a chance to interview him.

“I have tried to be a data-driven decision-maker. That is in my core belief. I like to look at different points of data and I like to make the best decision possible, and it’s not possible for me to make a data-driven decision based on one point of data. I struggle with that,” Finn said. “Mr. Darwin is incredibly impressive. I’m just never comfortable making a decision off one point of data.”


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